As media attention surrounding the flu vaccination grows, people have more questions and concerns. The CDC makes it clear that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot every year, unless you fall into a rare exception*. For some with special health concerns, it’s good to understand your options.
Flu Shots for Pregnant Woman
First, the flu shot is safe for pregnant women. Second, the flu vaccination is extremely important for influenza protection for the mother as well as the baby (even after birth!). In fact, the CDC confirms that the “vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study even showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.”
MedSpring has flu shots available for pregnant women.
Flu Shots for Infants
Children under age 5 are at high risk for developing flu – and that risk increases for children under 2 years old. The best way to protect your children? Get them vaccinated every year. More information on children and the flu is available here: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/children.htm
MedSpring has flu vaccines approved for children over 12 months of age.
Flu Shots for Seniors
The standard-dose flu shot is approved for those over 6 months, so seniors are welcome to come in for the standard flu shot. This year, there is also a higher-dosage flu shot which is approved specifically for those over 65 years of age. The high dose vaccine is associated with delivering increased antibody production; however, whether that equates into improved protection against the flu virus has been widely researched and discussed.
MedSpring has the standard flu shot approved for those over 65 years of age. We do not offer the high-dose vaccine.
Mercury-free Flu Shots
For decades many flu shots have been made with Thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) as it helps prevent contamination of vials with more than one dose of the vaccine. However, for those with concerns about mercury, there are options for mercury-free flu vaccines (without Thimerosal).
MedSpring has mercury-free flu shot options.
H1N1, Influenzavirus A and Influenzavirus B protection
Since the swine flu pandemic in 2009, a top concern is whether or not the flu shot protects against H1N1 – and it does. Keep in mind that flu viruses are constantly changing, which is why the flu vaccine makeup (and protections) may change every year based on research from worldwide influenza laboratories.
The trivalent flu shot protects against three strains of the influenza virus. The specific viruses contained within the trivalent vaccine this year are:
• an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
• A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus and a
• B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage)
MedSpring offers the trivalent influenza vaccination
(try and say that three times fast!).
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know your options, visit your nearest MedSpring for your flu shot.
If you’re still leery about getting the flu shot, the best thing you can do is get informed and talk to a physician. And check out our related post The Top Places for Flu Information to get the facts about flu to help you make an informed choice about whether or not to get the vaccination.
*Please consult your doctor about your options if you fall into one of the categories where a flu shot may be avoided: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm#flu-shot